Pocket doors are a great way to economize on tight space. By sliding against the wall, the door opens up flow in a room but can still be closed off for privacy. Find the right pocket door hardware, then follow these simple steps to create your own pocket door frame system.

Steps
7
Difficulty
Expert
Time Required
5Hours
Estimated Cost
$$$

What You Need for This Project

How to Measure for a Pocket Door Frame

These are the measurements for the rough opening required for a pocket door frame, either in a kit or pre-assembled.

Graphic showing a pocket door frame with two lettered arrow lines, one going up and down and the other going side to side
 Single Door  B
 24 inches. 49 3/8 in.  83 3/4 in. 
 28 in.  57 3/8 in.  83 3/4 in. 
 30 in.  61 3/8 in.  83 3/4 in. 
 32 in.  65 3/8 in.  83 3/4 in. 
 36 in.  73 3/8 in.  83 3/4 in. 

 

If you want to build a double pocket door frame, you'll need two (2) single pocket door kits. You'll also need a converging door connector kit.

For 4 5/8 inch walls (2 in. x 4 in. structure).

How to Frame & Install a Pocket Door

Step 1

Prepare the Pocket Door Site

  • Cut a 1 foot square block through the drywall and mark obstacles to avoid, like electrical wiring.
  • Keep removing drywall until you can access the header beam that's close to the ceiling, as well as the bottom plate by the floor.
  • Measure from the bottom of the header beam to the top of the bottom plate inside the wall cavity and purchase a pocket door kit that fits this height measurement. You can purchase a door that's shorter and add lumber to make it sit flush, but never go taller.
  • Use a jigsaw to cut away studs until they're flush with the header edges and sole plate so you get a level surface for the framing tracks.
  • Step Two

    Assemble the Pocket Door

    Following the instructions that came with your pocket door kit, put your pocket door together.

    Step Three

    Temporarily Position the Pocket Door to the Header Beam

    Rest the pocket door frame to the header beam and use duct tape to temporarily secure it into position. Make sure the track is straight with the level, and mark guide lines for positioning the header track. Also mark screw holes as a guide for when you'll be drilling them later on.

    Step Four

    Drill Starter Pilot Holes

    Use the pencil marks you made as guides for the screw holes, use your drill to form actual holes. Switch to your screwdriver and attach the top track to the header, then hang plumb bobs to the top track so it's lined up with the bottom track on the sole plate.

    Do the same on the bottom track.

    Step Five

    Attach the Split Studs

    Split studs are like regular wall studs, except they're metal-wrapped and make a hollow channel in the middle for the pocket door to ride through.

    Attach the split studs to the header and floor. When you attach the drywall later on, you'll attach it to the exterior (wood) side of the split studs so it'll hide the pocket door when it's open.

    Once you've finished with the split studs, attach the brackets to the top of the door, then slide the wheels into the track.

    Step Six

    Put the Door in Place

    Take the door and fix it to the wheels by clipping the brackets onto the wheel pins. Make sure to install the guide at the bottom so the door can roll open and closed easily and not rub on anything.

    To complete this step, you'll also have to install the door pull so you can grasp the door to open and close it. If you use your own pull, make sure it can fit on both sides without blockage in the open or closed position.

    Step Seven

    Finish the Drywall & Trim

    So that the visible area behind the open door looks polished, hang drywall to cover the bare spot. Sand any rough spots and paint to match the existing colour on the wall.

    If you need to adjust any trim around the door, measure, cut, and install starting with the top header trim piece, then move to the side jambs of the door.

    When using nails on the exterior trim, select ones that are just long enough to be inserted and not ones that go in to any great depth. This is so that the nails won't reach into the door chamber and cause scratches when opening and closing the door.

    How To Terms

    Tools, products, materials, techniques, building codes, and local regulations change; therefore, Lowe's assumes no liability for omissions, errors, or the outcome of any project. The reader must always exercise reasonable caution, follow current codes and regulations that may apply, and is urged to consult with a licensed professional if in doubt about any procedures.

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